There seems to be a new internet security issue every day. How can you protect your business, yourself and your family from these threats? The following tips from Microsoft Live One Care give some simple to follow suggestions about staying safe on line.
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Use these tips to make sure that you and your family stay secure online—whether you’re browsing the Web or chatting with friends.
Stay safe when using e-mail
E-mail is a great way to communicate and stay in touch with friends and family. Some ways to stay safe when e-mailing:
Don’t give out any personal information. Guard your home address, Social Security number, and bank or credit card information. It’s a good idea to have one e-mail that you use for family members and close friends and another one for shopping and signing up for newsletters and Web sites.
Use caution when opening attached files. A file attached to an e-mail is a common way for a virus to spread. Think first before opening attachments even if you know the sender, and check with the sender if you’re not sure about an attachment.
Stay safe when using IM and chat rooms
Instant messaging (IM) is perfect when you need to ask a quick question, but there are some security tips to keep in mind here, too. Just as with e-mail, never reveal your personal information and never open a file that you aren’t expecting.
Choose a screen name carefully. Most chat rooms have a signup page where you choose a screen name to participate in chats. Don’t use any word that could identify you, your family, or even the city where you live.
Use chat rooms that have moderators. You can usually tell if a site is moderated when you sign up or enter the chat room. If your child is interested in a chat room, make sure an adult moderator is associated with the site before you allow your child to sign up. Young children should not use chat rooms.
Report inappropriate behavior such as incidents of bullying, sexual exploitation, or other fraud to the chat room moderator (as well as to the police if applicable).
It’s okay to leave the chat room if you feel you are being bullied or harassed, are asked for private information, or just feel uncomfortable with the conversation.
Stay safe when surfing the Web
You always wear a seatbelt in your car. Stay safe on the information superhighway, too.
Make sure your personal information is protected. Read a site’s privacy statement before you give out any personal information or download software. Check for signs that the Web site protects sensitive data: look for “https” in the Web address and for a yellow padlock or an unbroken key in the lower-right corner. Learn more about how to avoid impostor “phishing” sites and “spoofed” e-mail.
Use strong passwords that have at least eight characters, include letters, numbers, and symbols and are easy for you to remember but tough for others to guess. Protect your passwords and change them regularly.
Monitor your kids’ online activities. Pay attention to what kids do and who they meet online. Make it a household rule that no child reveals personal information (including photos) without permission. Warn kids never to meet Internet “friends” in person. The Parents’ Guide to Online Safety offers links to online safety tips for kids by age.
Keep your computer current
A computer that’s up-to-date is far more likely to be secure. Use a firewall, install anti-virus software, and keep Windows and Office up-to-date using Microsoft Update. Detect, remove, and block malicious software threats using the full service scanner.